Lavezzi grabs late win for Napoli
© AFP

Napoli picked up a controversial three points today to close in on the top four in Serie A with a 2-1 win at Parma.

Edinson Cavani put the visitors in front with a dubious penalty before Cristian Zaccardo grabbed a deserved equaliser in the 77th minute. Ezequiel Lavezzi then scored a winner from an offside position as the home side were punished for their failure to take their chances, while they also had two penalty claims turned down.

Daniele Galloppa wasted two good chances for Parma, setting the tone for the game early on, with Morgan De Sanctis saving his first effort before he volleyed his second over from 12 yards. In between those two chances, Napoli had the ball in the back of the net through Cavani, but play had already been halted for an offside for Andrea Dossena.

The first talking point arrived in the 40th minute when the referee pointed to the spot when Cavani went to ground inside the penalty area, although it appeared he had tripped himself rather than been tripped by Gianluca Musacci, who was shown a yellow card.

Cavani converts
Justice appeared to be done when Antonio Mirante saved Cavani's spot-kick, but the ball fell to the Uruguayan, who made no mistake with the rebound.

Parma wanted a penalty of their own when Jonathan Biabiany's header struck the outstretched hand of Dossena, but despite being surrounded by nine infuriated Parma players, referee Paolo Valeri only gave a corner in the 48th minute.

Macdonald Mariga shot over the crossbar as Parma continued to waste good chances, but they finally got the goal they deserved in the 77th minute when Zaccardo lifted the ball in from a yard out after Gabriel Paletta's shot was only parried by De Sanctis.

Parma continued to attack, but they were caught out in the 86th minute when Napoli scored on the counter-attack. Cavani provided the assist to Lavezzi, who was about a yard offside when the pass was made, but he cut back and beat Mirante with the linesman's flag staying down.

In the last minute, Lavezzi hit the post as a counter-attack involving Cavani and Gokhan Inler presented him with the chance to wrap up the win.